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Difference between Get onto someone and Get to someone

get onto someone

1. get in touch with smb., especially by telephone:

  • I’ll have to get onto Sarah about the deadline.

2. (coll.) keep nagging or annoy a person:

  • She’s been getting onto me for a year to buy her a new coat.

3. (coll.) trace or find a person:

  • He tricked people for years until the police got onto him.

get to someone

1. = get onto someone 1:

  • I got to her on the telephone and told her what to do.

2. (coll.) be understood by a person:

  • I’ve tried to help the troublesome boy, but I can’t seem to get to him.

3. (coll.) have an effect on smb.’s feelings:

  • His sad story really got to me, and I was moved to help him.

4. (U.S. sl.) persuade smb. to do smth., especially by bribing:

  • Gangsters can’t operate on a satisfactory scale until they have “got to someone.”